TROY, Trelawny - Two road rehabilitation projects, funded mainly by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) at a combined cost of roughly $106 million in Common Road and Starapple Lane, both in Troy, Trelawny, have been described by residents as “the best thing to have ever happened in the respective communities.”
The Common Road project was funded at a cost of $67.3 million, with a contribution of $2.8 million from community members, while the Starapple Lane project was done at a cost of $39.1million, including $1.4 million in community contribution.
The projects were facilitated by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).
President of the Troy Community Development Committee (CDC), Kedon Glaves, explained that above all, farmers stand to benefit most from the road improvements.
“It is the best thing that ever happened in both communities,” the 30-year-old teacher and justice of the peace expressed during the handing-over ceremony held at the Troy High School on Tuesday.
He told the Jamaica Observer West that “farmers who tend to sell their produce had to use their donkeys to travel several miles to meet vendors to sell their produce to go to market and stuff. But the persons who are buying the produce now can go directly beside the farm to pick up the produce.”
Similar sentiments were shared by another resident, Kacia Dennis Brown.
“This is the best thing I ever see happening on Starapple Lane because during rainfall it was not a nice sight. I actually raise pigs and when the water runs from the road with the marl, it actually kills my piglets. Since it (project) is completed we actually start raising our pigs again,” Dennis Brown told the Observer West.
General manager of finance and procurement at JSIF, Orville Hill, who was also speaking at the handing-over ceremony on Tuesday, noted that of the 1,400 citizens being served by the infrastructure developments in both communities, 35 per cent are farmers.
“We are cognisant that these roadways play a vital role in creating access to a large investment in agricultural production, with the main produce being yam. It also provides a roadway for increased access to the market, increasing the buying power for farmers and even increasing land value in the communities,” Hill stated.
He noted that these roads were last rehabilitated over four decades ago and their deterioration affected “the livelihoods of residents, most importantly the farmers”.
“I take this opportunity to applaud our funding partner, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), for this worthwhile financial support in the form of a grant,” Hill stressed.
Chairman of the Trelawny Municipal Corporation and mayor of Falmouth, Councillor C Junior Gager, thanked JSIF for the road development projects.
Common Road and Starapple Lane were the two of nine roads submitted in the Troy Division that met the criteria for the JSIF site inspection and collaboration.
“The Trelawny Municipal Corporation registers our sincere gratitude to Jamaica Social Investment Fund for this significant investment in increasing our road infrastructure to meet development demands in this parish,” said Councillor Gager (Jamaica Labour Party, Warsop Division).
“Trelawny plays a very important role in nation-building and this parish has maintained its relevance of being a major catalyst for the stimulation of roads for sustainable development under the Trelawny Local Sustainable Development plan, which is a tool by the local authority to manage all the growth and the development of the parish,” Gager said.
The scope of the development, among other things, included the rehabilitation of the road surface with an adequate drainage system. The projects, which started early in October, were completed earlier this year.
Hill noted that “five members from each community participated in our maintenance training, which provided the basic information needed for the upkeep of the roadway”.
“Each community was also provided with a maintenance kit for this purpose, I therefore, urge you to take the necessary steps to maintain the road surfaces, drains and as well as the beautification of the area,” Hill implored.